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In PPP Case Apocalypse Bella Wants to Suppress ID by Witness He Thrice Met Others May Settle

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 15 – In a Paycheck Protection Program fraud prosecution of Apocalypse Bella, Mackenzy Toussaint and others, a defense lawyer is being summoned to New York, seemingly to be fired by the judge.        

   On September 8 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it, below.

  On November 15 Judge Engelmayer held another status conference, and Inner City Press again covered it. Now while Bella is going forward with his bid to suppress the identification, by a witness whom the AUSA says met him three times in business meetings, his co-defendants were described as engaged in plea negotiations.

  Judge Engelmayer has set a trial date - May 9, 2022 - and another conference for all remaining defendants, Feb 15 at 2 pm. But Bella should have a suppression hearing before then. Inner City Press will continue reporting: #CourtCaseCast.

Toussaint's lawyer Bret Martin, who said his Texas office is 15 minutes from where Toussaint lives, had missed the prior proceeding.

 He cited a medical procedure for his daughter, but was asked why he had not contacted the court, or arranged to get the transcript of the proceeding that he missed.  

Eventually he was ordered to come to New York with his client on September 15, in person, and to be prepared to discusses his retainer agreement.

Docketed on September 15 was Martin's mea culpa declaration, including "I clearly provided my Client a disservice at the beginning of this case... We both intend to appear in front of the Honorable Judge Engelmayer to speak more directly regarding the lack of attention and prioritization of these matter and attempting to get this case back on the right track."

On September 15 counsel for Apocalypse Bella informed Judge Engelmayer that Bella intends to move to suppress the identification of June 16, 2021, saying that a witness was shown six photos, for less than three seconds each."

Now on September 21, the Office of the US Attorney has responded with their description of the process: six photos in a binder, Bella and five "comparators." They says Bella's photo did not "so [stand] out from all the other photographs as to suggest to an identifying witness that [the accused] was more likely to the culprit," citing the US v. Williams decision in 2014 by SDNY Judge Jesse M. Furman.

On September 29, the deadline to produce discovery, the US wrote in to ask for more time to produce discovery from two laptops and a phone belonging to Toussaint, until October 18. Watch this site.

The case is US v. Bella, et al., 21-cr-247 (Engelmayer)



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